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Planning Force Acquires Quintessence Photonics

Photonics.com
May 2006
SYLMAR, Calif., May 15, 2006 -- Planning Force Inc. of Spokane, Wash., announced that it has acquired Quintessence Photonics Corp. in a reverse merger transaction and changed its name to QPC Lasers Inc., replacing its officers and board of directors with those of QPC.

QPC develops and produces next generation high-power, high-brightness semiconductor lasers and associated optical components for industrial, military, homeland security, telecommunications and medical markets using proprietary technology to make lasers that are smaller, lighter, less expensive and less power consuming than conventional lasers, according to the company.

QPC has a staff of more than 30, including scientists and engineers. The company conducts nearly all operations at its 18,000 sq ft production facility in Sylmar, including research and development, semiconductor wafer fabrication, processing and packaging. Its current capacity is three million devices per year and it is scalable to an estimated 20 million devices, QPC said.

Prior to the merger, Planning Force provided event and retreat planning services to corporate customers. It has now ended those activities and will concentrate solely on QPC's products and services, the company said.

On Friday, Planning Force and its principal shareholder, Julie Morin, closed an agreement with the shareholders of 98 percent of the outstanding stock of QPC, issuing one share of its stock for each share of QPC, a total of 27 million shares of Planning Force stock for the QPC shares. Also, QPC paid Morin $250,000 to buy her 48 million shares of Planning Force stock, which were then retired, and she resigned as CEO and director.

The company said QPC has designed and is developing, subject to additional funding, the world's only on-chip wavelength conversion (shortening or lengthening wavelengths beyond conventional ranges for diode lasers) and control. This technology can produce eye-safe wavelengths for detecting pollution, hazardous materials and chemical explosives; it also is conducive to establishing countermeasures for heat-seeking missiles, to producing a "directed energy weapons" arsenal for the US military, and for the creation of eye-safe laser products for surgery, hair, tattoo and acne removal, and other commercial applications, the company said. 

In 2002, QPC produced the "first light" from its laser devices and procured its first government contracts. In 2003, it phased in these government contracts and focused on product development for industrial, medical and defense purposes. In 2004, it initiated its first commercial shipments of Generation I devices and in 2005 it introduced and began to market Generation II products, hired sales representatives and received its first OEM orders.

Since its inception, QPC has received over $6 million in development contracts from the US Navy, Army, US Missile Defense Agency and defense contractors in the US and Israel. It has raised approximately $29 million in four separate rounds of equity financing. On February 10, QPC was awarded a multiyear production contract by the Israel Ministry of Defense to deliver high-brightness lasers for target illumination applications. On March 28, QPC received a US Army contract for development, performance testing and delivery of high-power semiconductor lasers in eye-safe wavelengths.

QPC co-founder Jeffrey Ungar was appointed board chairman and CEO of the new company on Friday, and QPC co-founder George Lintz was named CFO and COO. Ungar started QPC in 2000 with Lintz, an investment banker, after a 17-year career at diode laser manufacturer Ortel Corp. in positions including director of advanced R&D for optoelectronic devices and director of material and structure technologies.

Paul Rudy has been named QPC's senior vice president of marketing and sales, joining the company from Coherent Inc., where he served as marketing director of the semiconductor business unit. He has also served as the unit's product marketing manager and as scientific sales engineer for the mid-Atlantic region for Coherent Semiconductor Group and Coherent Laser Group.

The company's new vice president of engineering is Thomas Stakelon, who, prior to joining QPC, was president of LD Fiberoptics, a subsidiary of Agere Systems that manufactured passive optical components. He has also worked for Spectra-Physics Inc. and Lucent Technologies.

The company said Israel Ury will stay on as a QPC board director, a position he has held since November 2001. Ury founded and served as an executive officer of Ortel Corp. from 1980 to 2000 and since then has worked as senior technology consultant for Lucent Technologies and Agere Systems.

Other QPC board directors include: Robert Adams, manager of Adams Capital Management, a private investment company; and former Vietnam fighter pilot and retired Air Force Gen. Merrill McPeak, who has served as vice chairman of QPC's board since January and is president of McPeak and Associates, a management-consulting firm he founded.

For more information, visit: www.qpc.cc



GLOSSARY
diode
A two-electrode device with an anode and a cathode that passes current in only one direction. It may be designed as an electron tube or as a semiconductor device.
optical
Pertaining to optics and the phenomena of light.
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